Last Second Louisiana Tech Score Sinks Spartans
Sept 13, 2003
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Luke McCown threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Curry with 2 seconds left as Louisiana Tech rallied to beat Michigan State 20-19 on Saturday.
"All I was thinking was, `Make a good throw and make a good catch,"' McCown said of his 73rd career TD toss. "Whatever happens after that is going to happen."
McCown, 35-for-61 for 436 yards, threw a 4-yard TD pass to Julius Cosby with 1:09 left to make it 19-14, and Dez Abrams recovered an onside kick at the Louisiana Tech 45.
Six plays later, McCown threw a scrambling strike to Curry at the right edge of the end zone to give the Bulldogs (2-1) the unlikely victory over the Spartans (2-1).
"I don't know what to say, I really don't," Louisiana Tech coach Jack Bicknell III said. "I just checked about 15 times to see if we actually won. It's unbelievable."
The Spartans, outgained 497-361, got 140 yards rushing from Jaren Hayes and four field goals in seven tries from Dave Rayner, but managed just five first downs and 127 yards in the last three quarters.
"We totally gave it away," guard Paul Harker said. "We didn't just shoot ourselves in the foot. We took a bazooka and blew the whole thing off."
The Bulldogs got more production than that from receiver Shawn Piper, who had 10 catches for 171 yards, including a 76-yard scoring play. Another 80-yarder was negated by a holding penalty.
Michigan State had more penalties than its opponent for the third straight game, committing 10 infractions for 80 yards. That sloppiness and a toe injury that sidelined starting quarterback Jeff Smoker in the second quarter helped Louisiana Tech stay close.
Hayes was untouched on a 2-yard run off left tackle that opened the scoring in the first quarter. That capped an 89-yard drive and gave the Spartans their first rushing score this season.
It was 7-7 just 26 seconds later. McCown hit Piper in stride behind cornerback Roderick Maples for a 76-yard scoring strike.
Rayner put the Spartans up 10-7 with a 51-yard goal with 13:27 left in the second quarter. And after freshman safety Greg Cooper's first interception, Rayner connected from 49 yards to make it 13-7 just 2:19 later.
The Spartans squandered three first-half chances. Rayner missed a 49-yarder. An apparent 35-yard touchdown play on a screen to Shabaj came back on a penalty for illegal procedure and the Spartans settled for a field goal. And after a botched handoff bounced to linebacker Mike Labinjo, the Spartans took over at the Louisiana Tech 29, but Rayner missed from 34 yards.
Louisiana Tech missed a great opportunity when McCown's desperation heave from his 24 was intercepted by Maples in the end zone with 27 seconds left in the half.
Michigan State couldn't convert after another interception and a 59-yard runback by safety Eric Smith put the ball at the Louisiana Tech 32 early in the third quarter.
Louisiana Tech blew another opportunity when Josh Scobee's 49-yard attempt was low and left after a delay-of-game penalty. The Spartans couldn't pad their lead, however, as Rayner flubbed a 51-yarder on the first play of the fourth quarter.
The Spartans finally made it 16-7 with 11:01 left on a 37-yard kick from Rayner, following a fumble recovery by rover Monquiz Wedlow at the Michigan State 37. The Spartans' final score, a 30-yard field goal by Rayner, came with 6:10 left.
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